Many people in Florida are at risk of being injured by hazardous conditions at a property. At Eltringham Law Group, our Boca Raton premises liability lawyers can help you review the circumstances of your accident and assess the strength of a possible premises liability case.
How Do You Know If You Have a Premises Liability Case?
There are several things you must demonstrate to have a strong case. An injury attorney from our team may be able to help you review the facts of your situation and determine if it is worthwhile to move forward.
To have a valid premises liability case, four things must hold true.
The property owner had a duty of care
How much of a duty of care a property owner owes you depends on if you visited the property as an invitee, a licensee or a trespasser. Typically, property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees, followed by licensees. Rarely do property owners owe any duty of care to a trespasser.
The property owner failed to uphold that duty of care
You also have to prove that the property owner failed to maintain a safe property and in doing so, failed to uphold the duty of care.
The failure resulted in your accident
You must demonstrate how the property’s owner shirking of his or her duties caused you to get hurt. To prove this, you may need to rely on eyewitness statements, video surveillance footage or similar forms of evidence.
The failure resulted in you suffering genuine harm
Finally, you have to show how the property owner’s failure to recognize or rectify a hazardous condition caused you to suffer genuine harm. You may need to furnish photographs depicting your injuries or medical records describing their extent.
If you are not sure whether your case has merit, our premises liability attorneys can help you determine if it has all the elements that are necessary to make a formal claim.
Who Is an Invitee, Licensee or Trespasser?
When you visit someone else’s property, your presence there puts you into one of three categories: invitee, license or trespasser.
If a property owner invites you to his or her property and you have permission to be there, you become an “invitee.” This holds true regardless of whether your permission to be there is direct or indirect in nature. If you are a friend, family member or neighbor of the property owner, this typically places you in the “invitee” category. As an invitee, you expect the property owner to maintain a space that is safe for you to visit.
You also maintain “invitee” status if you visit a commercial business as a customer such as a mall, grocery store, restaurant, casino or amusement park. Owners of these businesses have a duty of care to keep their properties safe and free from potential harms. They also have an obligation to inspect their properties periodically and warn you of any hazardous conditions that exist that owners have not yet fixed.
“Licensees” fall into two distinct categories: invited and uninvited licensees. If the owner of a property invites you there for social reasons, you become an invited licensee. As an invited licensee, you have most of the same rights as an invitee, with one notable exception. There is no expectation that the property owner is going to conduct periodic inspections to ensure safety when he or she invites you to a home for social purposes.
If you are an uninvited licensee, this means you visited someone’s property for your own reason, without the property owner’s permission. For example, maybe you had to deliver a package to a particular address, or perhaps you were working as a roofer or contractor and traveling door-to-door to try to make sales. In these scenarios, the property owner still has a duty of care to keep the property safe for use, but the threshold for ensuring your safety is much lower.
“Trespassing” means visiting a property without permission from the property owner. In most cases, a property owner has no duty of care to a trespasser. However, there may be certain exceptions to this rule, such as if the person who trespasses and suffers an injury is a child.
Whether you were an invitee, a licensee or a trespasser when you fell and injured yourself helps determine the strength of your case and what duty the property owner had to protect you during your visit.
How Does an Attorney Help You Navigate a Premises Liability Case?
Having one of our premises liability attorneys in Boca Raton review your case helps you figure out whether you were an invitee, a licensee or a trespasser and whether you have the four primary elements that make a strong personal injury case. In addition to assessing the strength of your case, our premises liability attorneys may also help you gather medical records, video surveillance footage and other forms of evidence you need to strengthen your claim.
Our experienced premises liability lawyers can help you figure out what types of damages might be available from a property owner. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to secure compensation to help cover current and future medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. You might also be able to secure damages for long-term care, emotional distress or diminished quality of life. If someone you love died after suffering an injury or fall on another’s property, you may be able to pursue compensation for wrongful death.
Reach Out to a Boca Raton Premises Liability Lawyer
If you think you have grounds for a premises liability case, our premises liability lawyers in Boca Raton may be able to help. Call us or contact us online to speak with one of our attorneys at Eltringham Law Group and discuss your options.
Common Legal Questions About Premises Liability
What is premises liability?
What are the most common types of premises liability?
Unfortunately the list of types of premises liability is endless, but the most common cases our personal injury attorneys have encountered include:
- slip and fall cases due to inadequate maintenance of the premises
- trip and fall cases due to inadequate maintenance of the premises
- water leaks or flooding
- defective conditions on the premises
- elevator and escalator accidents
- amusement park accidents